I was given an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book is pure magic and I was so frustrated when it ended. It might be about to become my new favourite Stephanie Garner books. No one does magical details like her, and the world building and magic system is this book is a prime example of that. It’s set in the same world as the Caraval series and features a few cameos from the cast, but it’s mostly brand new characters and exploring a new part of the world. I think I should break this review into the two main characters.
When I started to read this book, I put it down after the first 80 pages and sent a message to my friend to tell her that I felt like I was reading a fanfiction of the first two books. I think the author got too carried away with trying to please the fans: I was someone who wanted more Tella and Legend, but not this much.
It’s sad when a book doesn’t live up to your expectations, especially when you spend a year with it as your most anticipated book. If it was a standalone, this could have been great. But, when you remember that it’s the final book in a trilogy you loved every word of, it’s hard to ignore how it’s missing all the magic you put it on a pedestal for.
I wish I could give it a half star rating, because 3 stars is too low, but 4 stars is too high. I originally gave it 4, but I’m rounding down to 3 because that’s a better representation of my first reaction to the book. It’s almost painful for me to write this review because of how highly I think of the series.
This review has so many potential spoilers that I’m not going to tag them all, otherwise it will just look like a ‘fill in the blanks’.
This is one of those books where I originally didn’t want it. As much as I loved Caraval and wanted more of that magical world, I kind of felt that it was good enough to standalone, and I was afraid that a sequel would be a let-down. But this is also one of those rare books where I loved the sequel so much more than the first book.
I read this back in January but (eight months later) suddenly decided to review every book I’ve read this year. So, here I am.
First thing first: this book is completely magical. I’ve seen it about on Instagram and Twitter for so long surrounded by so much positive vibes that I was almost afraid to read it because I thought it would be overhyped and wouldn’t live up to the expectations. But Caraval surpassed all my expectations and more. I’ve always had an interest in circus/carnival themed books but I’ve never found one that really caught my attention until now.